Archive for August, 2010

In search of Mojo

n. pl. mo·jos or mo·joes
1. A magic charm or spell.
2. An amulet, often a small flannel bag containing one or more magic items, worn by adherents of hoodoo or voodoo.
3. Personal magnetism; charm.
(from thefreedictionary.com)

An August afternoon at the Craftsbury range.

While running down Bolton mountain a couple of weeks ago, I got into a discussion with one of my biathlon teammates about our philosophies of training. Cross country ski racers (including biathletes) train an incredible amount throughout the year. We go for long rollerskis, bikes, runs and hikes to build our endurance. We do a variety of drills, such as no pole skiing, to work on technique. We do blocks of hard intervals where we ski with a high heart rate to increase our speed. A couple of times a week, we lift, do circuits and work on core exercises to increase our strength. All of these components help us to become faster racers. But there is still a piece missing.
My teammate told me about a cyclist coach she knows who has a motto “You’ve gotta have your mojo.” Racing at your highest potential requires the cooperation of your body, your mind, and your spirit, and having a little luck thrown in certainly doesn’t hurt. You need a good training plan to get there. But you also need the magic.
I’m constantly in search of mojo. My number one goal as a biathlete is to have fun. When the challenges I tackle during training and racing are enjoyable and motivating, I know I’m on the right track. My favorite training involves adventures, such as long hikes or exploring new trails on a mountain bike. I like being in places with rugged, wild terrain where I can physically engage the landscape during workouts. In my experience, I race best when I am happy. Coincidence? I think not.
What’s your mojo?

Some snapshots of summer:

Craftsbury Nordic Ski Club bounds up Elinor's field

Googie watches proceedings at the top of the bounding hill

Pat and Ethan tinkering with rollerskis in the front yard

Hannah, Lauren and I spent a Saturday afternoon learning hunter safety. The instructors lent us some stylish safety glasses for shooting practice.

After a week-long July heat wave during a biathlon training camp in Lake Placid it finally rained, creating a natural slip n slide on the OTC lawn.

The women's national biathlon team played paintball capture the flag during a day off from our Jericho training camp. One week later, I was still sporting welts.


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